I've been playing for a little under 4 years, 2 years serious. I'm pretty content at the level I'm at, learning songs are a breeze but when it comes to anything fast that involves a scale it just all falls downhill.

I'm 100% self taught from tabs, I have no knowledge of theory and whenever I improvise I just roughly know which notes will sound good next to each other.

I can honestly say that riffing is the best part of my playing, I can play most any Lamb of God song flawlessly. I also love playing Bodom, but when it comes to the fast licks they play, or the solos I just cant do it. It takes me a good 30-45 minutes just to learn a single solo and then I can't even play it properly.

Now I know one problem is my alternate picking when trying to shred, I pretty much just tremolo at whatever speed and play the notes. I know this is wrong and I'm trying to fix this.

Should I be going to a guitar teacher to learn theory at this point in my guitar playing? Or are there tricks to shredding and such that I just don't know about?
knowing theory is great. but it is not really for everyone.

I know very little of theory, but I know what sounds good.

I find when people focus on theory too much, they become guitar zombies, basically losing a lot of their natural creativity because they think too much about what they are playing.
My Gear
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul
-Ibanez S470
-PRS SE Custom

Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960a cab

Dunlop 535q wah
Visual Sound Liquid Chorus

30-45 minutes? try practicing at an easy speed for 21 days, i think its possible that you are being completely ridiculous in your expectations

Quote by ajmasterjaydude
so this kid at my school microwaved brussel sprouts for lunch, and when he was about to eat them one of them exploded on his face and burned him. i like turtles

in a thread about malmsteen^
In terms of speed when reading notes/tabs, I don't think theory will help much. Theory will help more in improvising, and in writing your own material.

While knowing the scales and guessing transitions can be a little helpful to getting you to play a little better, it won't do much significantly if you're just trying to play a certain sequence as fast as you want.

That being said, theory is still a great tool. Learn it anyway, but don't be frustrated that it doesn't speed you up.
The reason I'm thinking theory would help is because while learning a whole solo, note for note, bend for bend and harmonic for harmonic, it takes me a long, long, long time.

@ mosh_face, you probably are right. I've never learned a real shred solo and then play it contently, so I wouldn't know how long it would take me. But learning a Bodom song usually takes me 5-10 minutes.
it's impossible to learn those solos in 30-45 minutes. some solos can take weeks to learn(symphony of destruction took me two weeks). you just have to break up the solos, play each part slow and then gradually go faster until you can play it full speed, then do the same for the next part and then once you have both down combine them.

also play IN TIME, yeah it might be easy to play the notes really fast but to get some of the timing down is difficult. in angry again marty does this bend and keeps on picking it but it is such a wierd timing that nobody ever gets it so it doesn't sound right(i just tremolo pick it )
Last edited by ironman1478 at Aug 12, 2008,
It would be a good idea to learn the penatonic scales, (can't spell them) they are used in alot of solos are are pretty easy to improvise with.
Lets jump in a pool

Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.
It all comes down to practice. Play it slow, then work your way up.

Sorry I had to say that man. Whenever people tell me to play it incredibly slow for days to work on a shred section, I feel like Falcon Punching them.
Quote by lotsofvolume
It all comes down to practice. Play it slow, then work your way up.

Sorry I had to say that man. Whenever people tell me to play it incredibly slow for days to work on a shred section, I feel like Falcon Punching them.

So pregnant women often tell you how to shred?
Quote by DardoBoy

Member #29 of the I Love Hayley Williams Club PM Gibson_SG_uzr55 to join
Quote by StealthyHayze
Theory is extremely helpful for everything, go learn it


It can never hurt you, and will always help.